, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 459-472
Date: 23 May 2013

Screening participation for people at increased risk of colorectal cancer due to family history: a systematic review and meta-analysis

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We conducted a systematic review and a meta-analysis of observational studies to identify and summarise the level of colorectal cancer (CRC) screening participation for people at increased risk due to family history of the disease. Medline, Cinhal, Embase and PsychInfo databases were comprehensively searched between January 1995 and May 2012 to identify relevant articles. To be included, studies had to report on screening for people who had at least one first-degree relative with CRC and no previous personal diagnosis of the disease. Pooled screening participation levels were calculated for each screening modality. Seventeen studies, accounting for a total of 13,269 subjects with a family history of CRC met the inclusion criteria. Seven studies, including a total of 6,901 subjects had a pooled faecal occult blood testing screening participation (at least once) of 25 % (95 % CI 12–38). Five studies including a total of 5,091 subjects had a pooled sigmoidoscopy-based screening participation (at least once) of 16 % (95 % CI 7–27). Seven studies including a total of 9,965 subjects had pooled participation colonoscopy-based screening (at least once) of 40 % (95 % CI 26–54). There was a significant level of screening heterogeneity between studies. This review identified a substantial underuse of CRC screening for people at increased risk of developing the disease. It highlights the potential opportunity that exists for increasing screening participation among this segment of the population and the need to adjust the current CRC screening policies towards that objective.